Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Pantheacon 2008 Report

I am finally recovering from the cold I had for the last few days. Which is unsurprising. Everyone around me has a cold, plus they ran rampant at Pantheacon, and I ran rampant at Pantheacon not getting enough sleep nor eating well.

It’s kind of bizarre to feel so collected after the Con. Last year I came away disappointed with ADF, interested in ogam and some of the CR stuff, although still resistant, and hugely impressed with Thorn and Feri. I was buzzed on the energy, of finding like-minded people, of Micah understanding (in his words) that missing piece of me, of our engagement. It was exciting and exhausting. This year, I feel more focused, and present. I know where my path lies ahead of me. Or, really, what path I will be taking but not necessarily where it will lead, although I have hopes and goals.

Overall the weekend was amazing. It clarified and redoubled my interest in both CR and Feri. I’ve come to realize, that a lot of the dissonance I was having was because I didn’t want to practice two faiths at once. But as an agnostic polytheist and an eclectic soul, right now I have to try to practice both. I resisted having a dual faith for a long time, but after working in both modalities all weekend, I came away both renewed in my faith and with a sense of awe and purpose. Ultimately, I see these paths containing intertwining lessons for me that I need right now.

I have to work at both of them and I have to remain intellectually honest about how much they can overlap and how much I need to keep them separate. Feri seems to say that it can encompass all, but I’m not a fan of swallowing my CR practice up into Feri. CR says it’s a religion and shouldn’t be mixed with other religions. That’s fair. I don’t think I would call myself CR in the community, although it closely reflects a large part of my practice.

What’s funny to me is that I’ve been moving here for a few months now, resisting it, being pained by it. Feeling like it was one or the other, but never both. And even though I had many examples of people practicing dual faiths (Gaulic ADF/Discordianism or Neo-Wicca/Quaker for two examples I feel are more extreme than my own) I didn’t want to go there. I thought it would be too much work. Frankly, it does look to be a lot of work. But work I love with Gods, Spirits, and Ancestors I love.

This is huge, but this is my work and I will embrace with a full heart and an active mind.


Pitch313 said...

Several affiliations seems to go along with the impulse of the overall Neo-Pagan movement. Maybe it's a reflection of small group character of Neo-Paganism.

I prefer that my several affiliations mostly work together rather than conflict, metaphysically or practically.

Some opportunities I had to let pass because they just wouldn't get along in me, with me. Some I could figure out with a little imagining. Others I had to try, and find out where they tangled.

Feri, a trad that I know, is in an important way, an outlook or an approach to doing magic and living in the everyday world magically. An energetic approach. It rubs some other Neo-Pagan trads wrong because it is so energetic. "Running rampant" could be a suitable description...

Danielle said...

I actually think one of the things that draws me to Feri in general is the energetic and magical work. CR isn't about much of that. There isn't a lot of evidence of how Celts did magical or energetic work. So what people have done is create models using Celtic tropes combined with techniques from other traditions. (This said with the understanding that it's my opinion and experience and is not the general opinion of other CRs).

While I'm drawn to the Gods of Feri and I like the idea of working with the triple soul, I don't really care about their cosmology - although I don't mind it. I'm going to start working with a teacher soon, and I'm generally hoping to learn stuff from it. But I'm not looking for an initiation into the trad. Just an enrichment of my personal practice.